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Four SoCon Teams to Participate In BracketBusters PDF Print
Written by SoCon Sports Information   
Thursday, 29 September 2011 11:02

The 10th annual Sears BracketBusters, a three-day men's college basketball event pitting potential NCAA Championship hopefuls against each other Feb. 17-19, will feature 13 nationally televised games - on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. The NCAA hopefuls will be selected from a pool of 142 teams from 16 conferences, the largest Sears BracketBusters pool in the event's history, which includes two team that reached the 2011 Final Four in Houston.

The Southern Conference will have four teams in the event.  Appalachian State and Davidson have been designated as home teams, while College of Charleston and Wofford will be on the road. The SoCon is 17-12 all-time in the event and has gone 8-1 the last two years, including a perfect 5-0 mark last season.

For the seventh straight year, ESPNU will feature five Sears BracketBusters games, while ESPN or ESPN2 will television up to six and ESPN3 will carry two. The 13 Sears BracketBusters matchups will be announced Monday, Jan. 30 with dates, times and networks. The television matchups are selected by ESPN, while a Committee of Conference Commissioners determines the additional non-televised games.

Sears BracketBusters, named because of the success of the teams in NCAA Championship play, will provide the 26 televised teams an opportunity to play other top non-conference opponents three weeks before Selection Sunday. The 116 teams not selected for Sears BracketBusters will compete against each other through the same three days.

The 142-team field will feature teams from 16 conferences: 12 each from Colonial Athletic Association, Mid-American Conference and Southland; 11 each from Ohio Valley Conference and Big South; 10 each from Horizon League, Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, Missouri Valley and Summit League; nine each from America East, Big Sky and Big West; eight from the Western Athletic Association; four from the Southern Conference; three from the MEAC; and two from the West Coast Conference.

As part of the agreement, all 13 of the Sears BracketBusters home teams in televised games, as well as the remaining 58 home squads, will play a return game at the home facility of their opponent in November or December of the 2013-14 season.

Sears BracketBusters is part of ESPN's college basketball franchise programming, along with Rivalry Week, Feast Week presented by Lowe's, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers, Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick's Sporting Goods.

Teams participating this season in Sears BracketBusters have produced 87 appearances in the last six NCAA Championships.

Sears BracketBusters Home and Away Teams (Matchups announced Jan. 30)

Home Team                Visiting Team


America East


Albany                     Binghamton
Maine                    Boston University
New Hampshire               Hartford
Vermont                       UMBC
Stony Brook

Big Sky


Montana                    Eastern Washington
Northern Arizona              Idaho State
Northern Colorado            Montana State
Sacramento State             Portland State
Weber State

Big South


Charleston Southern            Campbell
Coastal Carolina              High Point
Gardner-Webb                   Liberty
Radford                       Presbyterian
VMI                           UNC-Asheville


Big West

UC Irvine                        Cal Poly
UC Riverside                      UC Davis
Cal State Fullerton            UC Santa Barbara
Cal State Northridge            Long Beach State




Delaware                              Drexel
George Mason                       James Madison
Georgia State                      Old Dominion
Hofstra                                Towson
Northeastern                       UNC Wilmington
VCU                                William & Mary




Butler                             Loyola (Ill.)
Cleveland State                          UIC
Detroit                              Valparaiso
Green Bay                           Wright State
Milwaukee                         Youngstown State


Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference


Canisius                             Fairfield
Iona                                   Marist

Loyola (Md.)                          Niagara
Manhattan                              Rider
Saint Peter's                          Siena




Ball State                               Akron
Bowling Green                           Buffalo
Central Michigan                    Eastern Michigan
Kent State                          Northern Illinois
Miami (Ohio)                              Toledo
Ohio                                  Western Michigan




Morgan State                          Delaware State


Missouri Valley


Bradley                                     Drake

Creighton                               Indiana State
Evansville                              Northern Iowa
Illinois State                         Southern Illinois
Missouri State                           Wichita State


Ohio Valley


Austin Peay                              Morehead State
Eastern Illinois                         SE Missouri State
Eastern Kentucky                          Tennessee-Martin
Jacksonville State                        Tennessee Tech
Murray State                             Tennessee State
SIU Edwardsville




Appalachian State                      College of Charleston
Davidson                                       Wofford




McNeese State                             Central Arkansas
Nicholls State                                  Lamar
Northwestern State                    Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Sam Houston State                          Texas-Arlington
Southeastern Louisiana                    Texas-San Antonio
Stephen F. Austin                            Texas State


Summit League


UMKC                                             IPFW
North Dakota State                               IUPUI
Oral Roberts                                    Oakland
South Dakota State                            Southern Utah
South Dakota                                 Western Illinois




Idaho                                          Fresno State
Louisiana Tech                                    Hawaii
New Mexico State                                  Nevada
Utah State                                     San Jose State


West Coast Conference


Loyola Marymount                              St. Mary's (Calif.)


Sears BracketBusters in NCAA Championship play from 2006-11:

2011 NCAA Championship: 13 berths - Akron, Boston University, George Mason, Indiana State, Morehead State, Northern Colorado, Old Dominion, Saint Peter's, UC-Santa Barbara, UNC Ashville, Utah State, VCU, and Wofford. Eight wins: George Mason defeated Villanova; Morehead State defeated Louisville; UNC Ashville defeated Arkansas-Little Rock; VCU defeated USC, Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State and Kansas.


2010 NCAA Championship: 12 berths - Butler, Morgan State, Murray State, New Mexico State, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Old Dominion, Siena, Utah State, UC-Santa Barbara, Vermont, Winthrop. 10 wins overall: Butler defeated UTEP, Murray State, Syracuse, Kansas State, Michigan State; Murray State defeated Vanderbilt; Northern Iowa defeated UNLV and Kansas; Ohio defeated Georgetown; and Old Dominion defeated Notre Dame.


2009 NCAA Championship: 13 berths - Akron, Binghamton, Butler, Cal State Northridge, Cleveland State, Morehead State, Morgan State, North Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Portland State, Siena, Utah State, and Virginia Commonwealth. Three wins overall: Cleveland State defeated Wake Forest; Morehead State defeated Alabama State and Siena beat Ohio State.


2008 NCAA Championship: 15 Berths - Austin Peay, Boise State, Butler, Cal State-Fullerton, Davidson, Drake, George Mason, Kent State, Oral Roberts, Portland State, Saint Mary's, San Diego, Siena, UMBC and Winthrop. Six wins overall: Davidson defeated Gonzaga, Georgetown and Wisconsin to reach the Elite Eight; Butler defeated South Alabama; Siena defeated Vanderbilt; and San Diego defeated Connecticut.


2007 NCAA Championship: 17 Berths - Albany, Butler, Creighton, Davidson, Eastern Kentucky, Holy Cross, Long Beach State, Miami (Ohio), Nevada, New Mexico State, Niagara, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts, Southern Illinois, Virginia Commonwealth, Winthrop and Wright State.  Seven wins overall: Butler defeated Old Dominion and Maryland to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Southern Illinois defeated Holy Cross and Virginia Tech to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Nevada defeated Creighton; Virginia Commonwealth defeated Duke; and Winthrop defeated Notre Dame.


2006 NCAA Championship: 19 Berths - Albany, Bradley, Bucknell, George Mason, Iona, Kent State, Montana, Murray State, Nevada, UNC-Wilmington, Northern Iowa, Northwestern State, Pacific, Oral Roberts, Utah State, Southern Illinois, UW-Milwaukee, Winthrop and Wichita State. Twelve wins overall: Bradley defeated Kansas and Pittsburgh to reach the Sweet Sixteen; Bucknell defeated Arkansas; George Mason defeated Michigan State, North Carolina, Wichita State and Connecticut to reach the Final Four; Montana defeated Nevada; Northwestern State defeated Iowa; UW-Milwaukee defeated Oklahoma; and Wichita State defeated Seton Hall and Tennessee to reach the Sweet Sixteen.


About Sears BracketBusters


The Sears BracketBusters concept, named because of the success of participating teams from these conferences in NCAA Tournament play through the years, provides programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences. Sears BracketBusters is an example of ESPN college basketball franchise programming. Others include Rivalry Week, Feast Week Presented by Lowe's, Holiday Hoops Presented by Kay Jewelers and Judgment Week and Championship Week Presented by Dick's Sporting.



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